Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (13)---- The Right, the Wrong and the Convenient Way?

In my previous Blog I wrote about witnesses appearing before the Committee of Inquiry (COI) with selective memories and how it extended to States Ministers. As an example I cited the lodging by the Economic Minister of a proposition seeking to increase licensing fees but had “forgotten” to remind Members of a States’ decision in 2007 which requested the Minister to conduct a review of the Licence fee structure and no increase could be sought until the Review's findings had been published. This Report is still awaited.
It is evident that the Minister and the Council of Ministers are now fully aware of the States’ decision but are intentionally/wilfully concealing it, albeit that since my intervention I have been informed that the Rapporteur will be revealing all before and during the States debate next Tuesday. One wonders whether there was ever any intention of informing Members if I had not raised the matter. With less than a week to go I understand that no information has yet been circulated.
As mentioned in my previous Blog the COI is taking evidence from witnesses who have experienced cover ups, unethical practices and the closing of ranks by Ministers when defending the indefensible. The Licence increase is further evidence that lessons have not been learnt, its business as usual and sadly is likely to continue even after the COI releases its Report. It is difficult overcoming a culture of deceit and sadly we do not have sufficient States Members who can see the difference between right and wrong, particularly if it’s for political advancement.  
Last week in a spirit of openness I circulated a copy of my Blog with P117/2007 and P94/2015 to all States Members to ensure they were aware of all the facts well before the debate. The information was also circulated to the ex officio Members like the Bailiff, Dean, Law Officers and the Lieutenant Governor who are all able to speak during the debate.  Given the moral aspect it will be interesting to see whether the Dean will break ranks and remind Members of the value of keeping promises and the need for an honest approach in their endeavours.
The media was also forwarded the information and it is hoped that they too will be seeking responses from Ministers. States Members and the public are entitled to know why the Review has still not been conducted, why the request is being made before its findings are known, why was the 2007 States decision was omitted from P94/2015 and why Ministers have continued to conceal the information?
I am not a spokesman for the Licensing Trade and no doubt the increase is likely to be passed on the customers but I felt that I could not stand by when there is clear evidence of foul play by the Ministers. There is still some time to partly redeem themselves by withdrawing the proposition and insisting that the Economic Development Department conducts the much needed review before seeking an increase in fees. 
The proposition is way down the Agenda and may not be debated until Wednesday, However I hope there will be sufficient Members who will condemn the way in which information has been withheld and will vote against the proposition which brings no credit on those who have lodged it.

I will keep Readers updated via the Comments section below.
To assist Readers P117/2007 can be read HERE
P94/2017 can be read HERE
My previous Blog can be read HERE


  1. Well done for sticking with your principles, the proposition should be kicked out and the Minister forced to resign for lodging something he knows is dishonest.

    1. Minister's do not as a rule resign even if found to be politically dishonest so I wont be holding my breath.

  2. Bob.

    So predominantly you are hoping for the current States Members, the State Media, and the discredited, and disgraced Dean to do the right thing?

    What do you think the chances are of that happening?

    1. It could be said that by providing the information, I have taken the horse to the water. I would have hoped that the information has been read so the appropriate action is taken.

      Doing the right thing would be for the proposition to be withdrawn so as to save embarrassment all round, however if the proposition is not pulled, don't be surprised if its not approved.

  3. Bob,
    Have just read Tuesday's Agenda, P94 is still down for debate, but no questions have been lodged in the Question Time slot. Any Comments?

  4. Not surprised, there are only 11 oral questions lodged most by the regulars and most of the others can't be bothered.

  5. Bob.

    Leader of Jersey's only (opposition) political party, Deputy Sam Mezec, discusses propaganda and RELATED ISSUES.